A response to stress expresses itself as resistance, tension, strain or frustration that throws off our equilibrium, keeping us out of sync.

 

Two people in identical circumstances may respond in very different ways (e.g., one gets stressed, the other gets inspired) depending upon how the perceive the situation.

 

What contributes to contemporary stress?

We have always had earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods, but the increasing volume and severity of these events has become alarming. Whether devastation generates economic stress in skyrocketing prices for gasoline, heating fuel, and food. 

 

Epidemics of influenza and other infectious diseases aren’t new, but drug-resistant strains of virulent organisms are new and threatening. The history of mankind is full of examples of conflicts, wars, acts of terrorism. However, never before has there been such a great threat of death and potential mass destruction due to terrorist acts as there is now.

Stress is often misunderstood. Many people look at outside events as the source of stress, but in fact, the experience of stress is actually caused by our emotional reactions to events. We can break the vicious stress cycle by taking a proactive role in managing our reactions.

The public is understandably stressed. By constant reminders from the media that any of these contemporary stressors could easily affect you or a loved one at any time. It is therefore not surprising that 8 or 9 out of every 10 visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related complaints. 

 

The World Health Organization recently estimated that by 2020, clinical depression will outrank cancer and follow only heart disease as the second leading cause of disability in the world.

 

Is it because contemporary stress is somehow different and more dangerous? What people want to know is what they can do about any of this. How can they learn to avoid and cope with this avalanche of stress that seems to surround today’s world?

 

Stress is often misunderstood. Many people look at outside events as the source of stress, but in fact, the experience of stress is actually caused by our emotional reactions to events. We can break the vicious stress cycle by taking a proactive role in managing our reactions.

 

Actively self-generating positive emotions when you start to react can favorably affect your physiological and psychological processes. Positive emotions help shift stress-producing perceptions, counterbalance the effects of stress reactions, and promote regeneration at both the psychological and physiological levels. 

 

As you gain increased management of your emotions, the experience of stress then truly becomes more a choice than an automatic reaction. In learning to address and transform stress from within you, you become and active contributor to your own health, balance and fulfillment.

 

Article Source: The Institute of HeartMath     www.HeartMath.org